Philosophical Studies 162 (2):275-290 (2013)
Abstract Theories of descriptions tend to involve commitments about the ambiguity of descriptions. For example, sentences containing descriptions are widely taken to be ambiguous between de re , de dicto , and intermediate interpretations and are sometimes thought to be ambiguous between the former and directly referential interpretations. I provide arguments to suggest that none of these interpretations are due to ambiguities (or indexicality). On the other hand, I argue that descriptions are ambiguous between the above family of interpretations and what may be called ‘institutional’ as well as generic interpretations. My arguments suggest that an adequate theory of descriptions may require considerable rethinking. Most contemporary theories of descriptions appear to be committed to one or more claims about the ambiguity of descriptions that I reject in this paper. I suggest that my observations provide a reason to renew efforts to develop a theory of descriptions within a representationalist theory of interpretation. Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-16 DOI 10.1007/s11098-011-9759-5 Authors Philipp Koralus, Philosophy Department, Princeton University, 212 1879 Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116
|Keywords||Descriptions Ambiguity Generics Uniqueness Presupposition Representationalist Theories of Interpretation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
Themes From Kaplan.Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) - 1989 - Oxford University Press, Usa.
The Semantics of Definite and Indefinite Noun Phrases.Irene Heim - 1982 - Dissertation, UMass Amherst
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
An Ambiguity Test for Definite Descriptions.Adam Sennet - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 111 (1):81-95.
Descriptions: An Annotated Bibliography.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
Reference and Definite Descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
The Ambiguity Thesis Vs. Kripke's Defence of Russell: Further Developments.Murali Ramachandran & Nadja Rosental - 2000 - Philosophical Writings 14:49-57.
Can a Single Action Have Many Different Descriptions?Arthur B. Cody - 1967 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 10 (1-4):164 – 180.
Descriptions: Points of Reference.Kent Bach - 2004 - In Marga Reimer & Anne Bezuidenhout (eds.), Descriptions and Beyond. Clarendon Press. pp. 189-229.
Descriptions: Predicates or Quantifiers?Berit Brogaard - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):117 – 136.
Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification.Delia Graff Fara - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):65–87.
Descriptions with Adverbs of Quantification.Delia Graff Fara - 2006 - Philosophical Issues, Volume 16: Philosophy of Language 16:65–87.
Ambiguous Articles: An Essay On The Theory Of Descriptions.Francesco Pupa - 2008 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Definite Descriptions and Quantifier Scope: Some Mates Cases Reconsidered.Michael Glanzberg - 2007 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 3 (2):133-158.
Added to index2011-06-26
Total downloads72 ( #72,840 of 2,168,944 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #186,783 of 2,168,944 )
How can I increase my downloads?